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Janet and Jason

T.D. Armstrong, 5 December 1985

To the Is-Land: An Autobiography 
by Janet Frame.
Women’s Press, 253 pp., £4.95, April 1984, 0 7043 3904 8
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An Angel at My Table. An Autobiography: Vol. II 
by Janet Frame.
Women’s Press, 195 pp., £7.95, October 1984, 0 7043 2844 5
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The Envoy from Mirror City. An Autobiography: Vol. III 
by Janet Frame.
Women’s Press, 176 pp., £8.95, November 1985, 0 7043 2875 5
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You are now entering the human heart 
by Janet Frame.
Women’s Press, 203 pp., £7.95, October 1985, 0 7043 2849 6
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Conversation in a Train 
by Frank Sargeson.
Oxford, 220 pp., £14, February 1985, 9780196480237
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... quite literally saved their own lives through writing. In the second volume of her autobiography, Janet Frame describes how she was rescued from the leucotomy then fashionable in New Zealand mental hospitals by attracting the attention of the superintendent. Her first volume of short stories, The Lagoon, had won the Hubert Church Award, the first of many ...


Duncan McLean: Frank Sargeson, 7 June 2018

... went to see An Angel at My Table, Jane Campion’s film about her fellow New Zealander, the writer Janet Frame. In the film we see Frame, played by Kerry Fox, recently released from a long spell in a mental hospital, given shelter and support by a white-goateed older writer called Frank Sargeson, played by Martyn ...


C.K. Stead, 7 May 1981

I passed this way 
by Sylvia Ashton-Warner.
Virago, 499 pp., £12, October 1980, 0 86068 160 2
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by Sylvia Ashton-Warner.
Virago, 269 pp., £2.95, October 1980, 0 86068 161 0
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by Sylvia Ashton-Warner.
Virago, 224 pp., £2.95, October 1980, 0 86068 162 9
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... Katherine Mansfield was born in 1888, Sylvia Ashton-Warner in 1908 and Janet Frame in 1924 – three New Zealand women each of whom has achieved some measure of literary fame or reputation outside the country in which she was born. They have in common that they have worked uneasily in (and always breaking out of) the fictional mode ...


C.K. Stead: New Zealand Writers, 21 November 1991

... married and living on Auckland’s North Shore close to the Sargeson house, at the back of which Janet Frame, recently released from years of incarceration in mental institutions, was living in an old army hut and writing her first novel, Owls do cry. Frame discusses that time in the second volume of her ...

C.K. Stead writes about Christina Stead

C.K. Stead, 4 September 1986

Ocean of Story: The Uncollected Stories of Christina Stead 
edited by R.G. Geering.
Viking, 552 pp., £12.95, April 1986, 0 670 80996 9
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The Salzburg Tales 
by Christina Stead.
498 pp., £4.95, September 1986, 0 86068 691 4
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... great novels of the century, The Man Who Loved Children. When my story appeared someone wrote to Janet Frame recommending it. She wrote to say how much she’d enjoyed it but asking why I was now writing as a woman. This confusion was sorted out when I found that the next issue of the Kenyon Review contained Christina Stead’s novella ‘The ...

Old Bag

Jenny Diski: Silence!, 19 August 2010

The Unwanted Sound of Everything We Want: A Book about Noise 
by Garret Keizer.
PublicAffairs, 385 pp., £16.99, June 2010, 978 0 15 864855 2
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... quieter and not so persistent, though.”’ I once read a biography of the New Zealand writer Janet Frame. It was very long, and in my recollection largely consisted of Frame in perpetual movement from one house to the next, each more isolated than the last, in a desperate attempt to find somewhere quiet to live ...

The Paranoid Elite

Michael Wood: DeLillo, 22 April 2010

Point Omega 
by Don DeLillo.
Picador, 117 pp., £14.99, March 2010, 978 0 330 51238 1
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... she said. There are two narratives in Point Omega, subtly but distinctly linked, although the frame looks at first as if it is only a frame. The longer story, placed in the middle of this seeming frame, concerns Elster, who has taken to thinking about the meaning of life in his ...

Shelf Life

Hugo Williams, 4 October 1984

... and borrow an ordinary one for the competition. In the centre of our shelves stood our photo-frame, a difficult area that couldn’t be tidied away or forgiven. With opposing views on the subject, our parents were looking straight past one another into opposite corners of the room. 3 We said out loud, ‘Brothers and sisters have I none, but this man’s ...

Memories of Catriona

Hilary Mantel: Her memoir concludes, 6 February 2003

... wrong construction on what you picked up. How then can you create a narrative of your own life? Janet Frame compares the process to finding a bunch of old rags, and trying to make a dress. A party dress, I’d say: something fit to be seen in. Something to go out in and face the world. For a few years, in my dreams, I stayed thin, and I wore a thin ...

Language Fears

Walter Nash, 19 January 1989

Good English and the Grammarian 
by Sidney Greenbaum.
Longman, 152 pp., £6.95, February 1988, 0 582 29148 8
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Longman Guide to English Usage 
by Sidney Greenbaum and Janet Whitcut.
Longman, 786 pp., £10.95, June 1988, 0 582 55619 8
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Words in Time: A Social History of the English Vocabulary 
by Geoffrey Hughes.
Blackwell, 270 pp., £14.95, May 1988, 0 631 15832 4
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... rules and evaluate them’. To which Greenbaum adds: ‘What they may need to learn is how to frame their advice in language that will be clear and persuasive to non-experts.’ This is no doubt a prudent afterthought, though my experience is that by comparison with some literary theoreticians, grammarians achieve a lucidity verging on charm. The first ...

Fits and Excursions

Walter Nash, 7 August 1986

The Complete Plain Words 
by Ernest Gowers, edited by Sidney Greenbaum and Janet Whitcut.
HMSO, 288 pp., £5.50, May 1986, 0 11 701121 5
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Educational Linguistics 
by Michael Stubbs.
Blackwell, 286 pp., £25, June 1986, 0 631 13898 6
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... usage can wholly repair, if only because such books are burdened with diverse tasks. They have to frame recommendations, general and specific, for the practice of language; they must furnish at least a little basic information about grammar and linguistic terms; and if they have pretensions to being anything more than ready-reference rule-givers, they ought ...

Benevolent Mr Godwin

E.P. Thompson, 8 July 1993

Political Justice 
by William Godwin, introduced by Jonathan Wordsworth.
Woodstock, £150, November 1992, 1 85196 019 8
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The Political and Philosophical Writings of William Godwin 
edited by Mark Philp.
Pickering & Chatto, £395, March 1993, 1 85196 026 0
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Political Writings 
by Mary Wollstonecraft, edited by Janet Todd.
Pickering & Chatto, 411 pp., £39.95, March 1993, 1 85196 019 8
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Memoirs of Wollstonecraft 
by William Godwin, introduced by Jonathan Wordsworth.
Woodstock, 199 pp., £8.95, April 1993, 1 85477 125 6
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... pack of instincts – natural affections which antient philosophers have stuck upon the human frame – constitution like burrs and patches.’ ‘Benevolence’ can be chased back down 18th-century corridors to Shaftesbury and beyond, and up and down Hartleyan staircases, but one wonders how far it was a philosophical term of art at all and how far a ...


Randolph Quirk, 25 October 1979

Collins Dictionary of the English Language 
by P. Hanks, T.H. Long and L. Urdang.
Collins, 1690 pp., £7.95
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... no initial capital. Collins defines motorcycle as ‘a two-wheeled vehicle, having a stronger frame than a bicycle, that is driven by a petrol engine’. Much of this is obviously ‘encyclopedic’ (indeed incidental), threatening the definition of other words with hair-raising implications which fortunately are not often realised. (We are not told, for ...

Plato Made It Up

James Davidson: Atlantis at Last!, 19 June 2008

The Atlantis Story: A Short History of Plato’s Myth 
by Pierre Vidal-Naquet, translated by Janet Lloyd.
Exeter, 192 pp., £35, November 2007, 978 0 85989 805 8
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... scientists investigating the Atlantis Massif along the mid-Atlantic ridge. When it appeared in the frame of their remotely controlled camera – named Argo – there was, by all accounts, a certain degree of excitement. The Lost City consisted of a field of white towers: hydrothermal vents, populated by tiny see-through creatures. So did this mean that Plato ...

The Beast on My Back

Gerald Weissmann, 6 June 1996

The Harmony of Illusions: Inventing Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder 
by Allan Young.
Princeton, 327 pp., £28, March 1996, 0 691 03352 8
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... practices as osteopathy, chiropractic and Christian Science. The Continental alienists, Charcot, Janet and Freud, suggested that the syndrome need not be produced by true physical traumas: psychological wounds were sufficient. It is therefore appropriate that Freud’s heuristic theory of the dynamic unconscious should dominate the study of traumatic memory ...

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